A previous cabinet's meeting to discuss development on coronavirus candidate vaccines (photo courtesy of the Egyptian government)
Egypt is expected to receive doses of one of the coronavirus vaccines in May 2021 via the Global Vaccine Alliance and Immunisations (GAVI), the Egyptian cabinet spokesman Nader Saad said in a telephone interview with Extra News satellite channel on Wednesday night.
Alongside other international organisations, GAVI aims to guarantee rapid and fair access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, mainly for middle-income and least developed countries.
Saad said Egypt will be one of the first countries to receive the vaccine, albeit not before the first half of 2021 as GAVI has already a long list of requests from different countries to get the much-awaited vaccine.
"Egypt will be one of the first countries to receive the vaccine but that will not happen in January […] may be in the first half of 2021 in May," Saad said.
He added that the global alliance is waiting for the trial vaccines to obtain the necessary emergency approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to fulfil the countries’ demands.
The vaccine that receives the emergency approval will be provided to the country, Saad explained.
The Cabinet spokesman also noted that the global alliance will help Egypt obtain the vaccine at an affordable price, much lower than the market price.
Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has earlier delegated the Ministers of Health and Finance to take the necessary measures and procedures to contract GAVI in order to provide the country with a 20 million-dose batch of the coronavirus vaccine.
The amount would cover up to 20 percent of the country's needs, mainly medical staffers and most vulnerable categories to the disease, according to previous remarks by Health Minister Hala Zayed.
According to WHO, there is still no approved vaccine for the disease which has so far caused the death of 6,694 people and infected a total of 116,724 others across the country.
Over the past months, Egypt has participated in the clinical trials of two China-made vaccines in cooperation with the Chinese government and other companies.